Australia v India, CB Series, Brisbane

'Sloppy' Australia seek turnaround

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

February 18, 2012

Comments: 145 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Gautam Gambhir works the ball behind square, India v Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Bank Series, Adelaide, February 14, 2012
Gautam Gambhir has been impressive at the top of the order in this series © Getty Images
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February 19, Brisbane
Start time 1320 (0320 GMT)

Big Picture

This tri-series has suddenly become interesting. Sri Lanka's bonus-point win over Australia in Sydney on Friday means that at the halfway stage of the tournament, only three points separate the three teams. Australia now find themselves without their regular captain and needing a victory to regain the top spot on the Commonwealth Bank Series table. Their loss to Sri Lanka was comprehensive, and the batsmen need to lift after they slipped to 8 for 104 on Friday. David Warner is yet to fire in this series and a big innings from him would be a major boost for the team, while Ricky Ponting has also been disappointing, and too much has been asked of David Hussey in the lower middle order. In the field they have been sloppy, in Ponting's own words, and they need to sharpen up in the second half of the series.

India have started to find their groove in the shorter format after a miserable Test tour. Their last match was a tie with Sri Lanka but that followed two victories and notably, the senior top-order batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are yet to impose themselves on the series. That means there is plenty of room for India to improve further. And they can take encouragement from the venue: they have won their past two one-day internationals against Australia at the Gabba. However, Australia haven't been beaten in Brisbane since that last loss to India, in March 2008.

Form guide

Australia LLWWW (Most recent first)

In the spotlight

Ricky Ponting might have the captaincy back, albeit temporarily, but what he really needs is runs. So far in this series Ponting has made 2, 1, 6 and 2, and the slump is all the more baffling considering his excellent form in the Test series against India. It is the third time in his career he has had four consecutive single-figure scores in ODIs. None of those lean trots have stretched out to five innings - yet.

Gautam Gambhir has scored a 92 and a 91 so far in this series but is yet to turn one of those into a hundred. It is now 14 months since Gambhir has scored a century in any format for India, but they would be more than happy with another 90 against Australia.

Team news

Michael Clarke has been ruled out of this match, meaning Ponting will lead the side again, and Mitchell Marsh is also out of action due to a back injury. Australia's Twenty20 captain George Bailey has joined the group to help cover for the loss of Clarke, but an ODI debut for him appears unlikely unless another injury is sustained. The Victoria left-arm spinner Jon Holland remains in the squad, although Xavier Doherty should retain his spot. Ben Hilfenhaus is the one member of the fast-bowling group who is yet to play a match in the series and a couple of lean matches from Mitchell Starc could encourage the selectors to bring in Hilfenhaus for him.

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Matthew Wade (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Peter Forrest, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 David Hussey, 7 Daniel Christian, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Clint McKay, 10 Mitchell Starc/Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Virender Sehwag missed India's previous game due to back spasms and is unlikely to be risked again in this match. There might also be a place once again for Zaheer Khan, who had a calf problem, perhaps at the expense of Umesh Yadav, while Praveen Kumar might replace Irfan Pathan.

India (possible) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Praveen Kumar.

Pitch and conditions

The Gabba hosted a Ryobi Cup match a week ago and Queensland nearly chased down 285. There are runs at the venue, but also some assistance for the fast bowlers. The forecast is for fine weather and a top of 31C.

Stats and trivia

  • India have won their past three completed ODIs at the Gabba - two against Australia and one against Zimbabwe
  • Michael Hussey needs 57 runs to reach 5000 in one-day internationals


"A lot of the things we've done [in the field] have looked sloppy. Usually a sign of a team is how well they're going in the field and if you look at the way we've fielded in the last couple of games, it's been a long way off the mark."
Ricky Ponting

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Dhutugemunu on (February 19, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Okay. Here is the chance to MSD. Show the world you can win matches without any support from the top order. In dreams man... In dreams. He is just playing for his popularity. When the top order batters reduced the required runs, he bats slowly. As a result India in trouble coz they need more than two runs a ball in last few overs. He hits a 6 or 4 at the last moment and wins the match for India. Everybody praises MSD. He is the Savior then. Ultimately he wins the Man of the Match award too. As Gambhir said they could have win Aussie game in 47th over. Not only that but also they could have win SL game. MSD's last minute approach is not good for everyday. Here you have a big target and lost 4 top order batters for 36. Can you?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

SRT is a good player , just like everyone else. He amassed these runs since e mostly played in batting friendly conditions & BCCI are afraid of sending him ome as they did with other players. He is not the God of crickett. Why the god is suffering to get 1 century past 25 innings, may be e lost his power is seam friendly conditions. i think its time for him to give way for youngsters instead of resting for 4 matches, playing 1 match. I salute you, Sachin for your greatness, but even the Greats should retire.

Posted by Noboundary on (February 19, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

The problem with Indian fans is they start hero worshipping cricketers especially batsmen much like the film fans of Kollywood. For any sports including cricket a players merit is always based on current form not past greatness. If Indian cricket fanatics has their way Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and many more would still be playing and a young Tendulkar would never have got a chance till he reached 30! Records are meant to be broken and there is a budding Tendulkar or even greater talent waiting somewhere. Let us recognize them and give them a chance and let the much older past-prime great players retire gracefully.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Why no one talks about 'A has not scored 110 in the past 43 innings' kind of things. The difference between 110 and 100 is the exact same as between 100 and 90 isn't it? Will Cricinfo and all other media stop hyping a meaningless number as 100 as if it is an achievement pay respect to good scores - whether it is 87 or 76 or 94? GG scored 3 key 90+ scores incl the one in WC final. That is good and enough. Pl stop talking inanely about x number innings since last 100 or y number of years since last 50.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

Jadeja's batting techniques are OK, but doesn't seem to have enough strength to clear the boundary -- hence the lack of sixes, as he normally and easily gets in India. His bowling also seem to have lost the bite. A a combined effect, he seems to have lost a little bit of confidence.Unfortunately, he is more of a "confidence' player.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 1:38 GMT)

Is one Mitchell going the other Mitchell's way?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

I don't understand, why Tendulkar was asked to guard the boundary, especially since there were enough younger legs in the team to do that job. Moreover, he is a better fielder in the slips and in the inner ring. Is someone trying to "expose" the negative effects of his age? Not fair. Throughout the tour, he had been batting well, without luck. Like KP's luck turned for the good yesterday in Sharjah, hope Tendulakar will also get a kiss from lady luck, and not a kick. ( Most of us guys are used to getting both kicks and kisses from ladies. So, Lady Luck can't be different)

Posted by Natraja on (February 19, 2012, 1:13 GMT)

Tendulkar is not carrying Indian flag. He is carrying tendulkar flag and playing for his records. He should have retired after the world cup but he wants his 100 100. Whether India win or lose he is concerned with his 100. BCCI should schedule a match with Bangladesh to let him make one and leave team India for good.

Posted by CaptainKool on (February 19, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

Again to ignore Irfan is not understandable. Well happy to see that Praveen is in the team but I think Irfan should be given chance ahead of that Jadeja, which is useless cricketer and if not him then Vinay should be rested but you cannot give a guy rest after just one match and which was vital than what Jadeja has done during last few matches. And I think Manoj should be given chance in place of Raina.

Posted by realist1 on (February 19, 2012, 1:11 GMT)

Yeah Keep Sehwag in the Shade! He is utterly useless in Fast and bouncy pitches. Sehwag is the Ultimate Flat Track Bully. An Ordinary batsman outside Indian Subcontinent.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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